Lagos - The President of Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou, on Friday described the death of Nelson Mandela as a great loss to the African continent and the whole world.
Mandela, a former South Africa President, died on Thursday at the age of 95.
In a statement copied to the News Agency of Nigeria, Lagos, Hayatou said that Mandela was not only an icon and freedom fighter but also a guide and a benchmark.
"His struggle, works and deeds will remain forever a compass. This provides an opportunity to acknowledge the role he played in the development of the African youth and the development of football in Africa in the early 90s."
"In spite of his condition, Mandela made an appearance at the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the first time the tournament held in Africa. It was realisation of a dream for which he spared no effort," he said.
According to Hayatou,Mandela found his place in the world of football as a founding member of CAF.
"In spite of the demise of Mandela, CAF will continue to celebrate him. Let us celebrate Mandela, let us celebrate Africa," he said.